Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Time to ditch our ties with the monarchy

If we ever needed anymore reasons to sever ties with Mother England, Governor-General Quentin Bryce just handed us a million-dollar reason to.

A few months ago Madam Bryce heading to Africa to lobby for a seat for Australia on the UN Security Council, and chalked up over $700,000. Foreign Affairs chipped in $290,000 towards junket.

- $300,000 was paid to diplomats and government officials for the 18-day trip.
- $31,000 for accommodation
- $10,000 for vehicle hire
- $2,000 on gifts, including children's books, soft toys, mouse pads and pencil cases
- $17,000 for "miscellaneous" costs
- $64,000 on food, accommodation and gifts during the 10-country visit.
- $350,000 for flights on a VIP aircraft

The Herald Sun reported that Parliament was told that nearly half of Bryce's 85 staff had resigned since she took the role in September 2008.

Bryce has said that her office "takes a prudent approach in relation to all expenditure".

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says the "campaign" to secure a temporary position on the Security Council from 2013 for Australia will cost at least $13 million.


Thaddeus said...

Sheeeeeeeesh, whilst I agree that it would be a good thing for Australia to have a seat on the Security Council, why does it have to cost us so much?? What the hell has happened to the UN that countries need to "buy" a seat??

KitchenSlut said...

As a republican (in the Australian context) I agree with abandoning the monarchy however your argument here in fact supports the reverse of that.

Regardless of the structure there will still be a 'head of state' under any proposed model and it's not at all clear to me that the expenses of that wont be greater than now. The query that has been raised over Bryce is the politicisation of her role as a political advocate which has increased costs as disclosed here. The issues raised here are mostly, bt not entirely, irrelevant to the monarchy v republican debate. It's likely to be worse under any republican model.

Despite that I remain a staunch anti- monarchist dependant on the detail of any governance model.

radical royalist said...

Do you suggest that a republic cost cost the Aussies less than the Monarchy? Please present us your figures.

Should you be willing to make a comparison then you'd find out that the heads of state of France and the UK (two countries with the same population) vary quite differently in their expenses for the president and the Queen:
France: 2.28 AUS $ per head
UK: 1.46 AUS $ per head

These are 2007 figures. Meanwhile president Sarkozy has increased his budget by more than 50 p.c.

Let us know, if you only accept billionaires for the Aussie presidentship who can pay for accepting the post.